They’re all good dogs in ‘Olive, Mabel & Me’

I really needed this book. It’s a gentle, often humorous and occasionally profound story of a man and his dogs, and a fair bit of mountain walking thrown in. If you were hanging around on Twitter last March, you may have come across a cute little video tweet featuring two dogs having an eating contest,Continue reading “They’re all good dogs in ‘Olive, Mabel & Me’”

Greed turns deadly in ‘The Benevent Treasure’

Candida Sayle and Stephen Eversley “meet cute,” as the kids say, when Candida gets stranded on an English beach as the high tide rolls in and threatens to drown her. At that exact moment, Stephen happens to be out birdwatching in a rowboat, as one does, and finds his damsel in distress clinging to aContinue reading “Greed turns deadly in ‘The Benevent Treasure’”

Amy, who is your father? Nero Wolfe is on the case

I recently picked this up in an ebook sale, and while I have read it before it happens to be one I did not own in paperback so I’ve probably only read it once, many years ago. It’s a fine later (1968) entry in the series. The client is a young woman whose mother diedContinue reading “Amy, who is your father? Nero Wolfe is on the case”

Drowning in a ‘Long Bright River’ of addiction

Long Bright River by Liz Moore is an unflinching look at the opioid crisis through a dark lens. None of the characters conform to the usual stereotypes. Cops aren’t always heroes (or villains); addicts aren’t always dangerous or hopeless. Everyone has secrets and people are seldom what they appear to be at first glance. In that way,Continue reading “Drowning in a ‘Long Bright River’ of addiction”

‘A Fatal Lie’ untangles a family puzzle

As A Fatal Lie (2021) opens, it’s three years after the end of World War I and Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is again in the proverbial doghouse of his Superintendent, Markham. The antagonism between the two men once again sees Rutledge sent to a remote corner of the United Kingdom to investigate an unidentified body found floating in the RiverContinue reading “‘A Fatal Lie’ untangles a family puzzle”

‘The Marrow Thieves’ explores a dystopian indigenous world

What happens when we stop dreaming? And what if we could steal the dreams of someone else and take them for our own? Would we do it, even if it meant the destruction of the people we’re stealing from? That question is at the heart of The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (2017). This Young AdultContinue reading “‘The Marrow Thieves’ explores a dystopian indigenous world”

The ambiguities of race resonate in ‘Passing’

I wanted to read a classic of African-American literature during February and the solution was found when the New York Times Style Magazine’s T Book Club chose Passing (1929) by Nella Larsen as its monthly selection. The slim novel — really more of a novella — is set in the 1920s and explores the practicalContinue reading “The ambiguities of race resonate in ‘Passing’”

Mina Baites plays a bittersweet tune in ‘The Silver Music Box’

Johann Blumenthal is a German silversmith, a talented silversmith who counts both Gentiles and his fellow Jews among his regular customers in The Silver Music Box (2017) by Mina Baites. Filled with love for a homeland that doesn’t always love him back, he enlists in the German Army to fight in World War I. BeforeContinue reading “Mina Baites plays a bittersweet tune in ‘The Silver Music Box’”

Andy Weir’s Madcap Misadventures and Math on Mars

The Martian (2012) is the story of an astronaut on a manned mission to Mars who gets left for dead when his crewmates evacuate in a crisis. It has a lot of the elements that made me think I didn’t like science fiction for so long. Primarily, it has techno-babble. Lots and lots of techno-babble.Continue reading “Andy Weir’s Madcap Misadventures and Math on Mars”